Lateshia Jackson, A & L Environmental LLC

Website Hazardous Waste Removal Organizations: Allies for Community Business Services Utilized: Apply for a Grant, Apply for a Loan Lateshia Jackson’s journey to start a company was an unexpected one. Throughout her career as a nurse, her husband Anthony worked in hazardous waste removal. However, he only worked seasonally, despite being employed by the same large...

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Julia Perkins, Studio Yogi

Website Yoga Studio, Chicago Organizations: SomerCor, Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, Local Initiatives Support Coalition (LISC) Chicago Services Utilized: Apply for a Grant, Apply for a Loan After 25 years as a nonprofit consultant, Julia Perkins didn’t expect to start a yoga studio. After being diagnosed with osteoarthritis at 50 years old, Julia says, “I...

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El Charro Chicago Business

Juan and Rafael Vázquez, El Charro De San Francisco

Website Restaurant, Chicago Organizations: Calumet Area Industrial Commission Services Utilized: Secure Licenses, Apply for a Grant The owners of El Charro de San Francisco are no strangers to the value of hard work. The Vázquez & Guzmán family have been on a 22-year journey to make El Charro De San Francisco the popular East Side neighborhood restaurant...

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Danny Park, RoboThink

Danny Park, RoboThink Website Educational Company, Lake Bluff, IL Organizations: Asian American Chamber of Commerce Services Utilized: Develop Partners to Increase Sales, Join Accelerator Danny Park didn’t plan on becoming an entrepreneur. After graduating from college, Danny thought he would get job as an accountant. The idea for RoboThink started with a friend who was running a...

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Angel and Araceli Nacipucha, Los Barriles

Website Restaurant, Chicago Organizations: North River Commission/Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Development Center Services Utilized: Secure Licenses, Apply for a Loan, Improve Marketing, Establish Online For Angel and Araceli Nacipucha, restaurants are a family business. The husband and wife co-owners of Los Barriles Restaurant and Sports Bar met while...

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Megan Awada, Wicked Plants

Website Plant Shop, Chicago Organizations: Lakeview Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Development Center, SCORE Chicago Services Utilized: Establish Goals, Buy or Rent Space, Improve Marketing Megan Awada never imagined that her hobby of growing house plants would turn into Wicked Plants, the plant shop she now runs in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago....

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Pauline Sylvain-Lewis, Max Candle Co.

Website Aromatherapy Candles, Chicago, IL Organizations: Far South Community Development Corporation Services Utilized: Buy or Rent Space, Increase Sales, Certify as WBE/MBE After spending twenty years working in social services, Pauline Sylvain-Lewis didn’t expect to start a candle company. After the unexpected passing of her brother Maxime, who her business is named after, Pauline discovered aromatherapy...

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Neil Sullivan, Quari Ice

Website Cocktail Ice Cubes, Chicago, IL Organization: Make City Services Utilized: Buy or Rent Space, Hire / Retain Staff, Optimize Operations Neil Sullivan didn’t set out to start Quari Ice, the craft ice company with a social mission and brainchild of his wife, Audrey. After studying Japanese and European History in college, Neil worked in a fishing...

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Tracey McGhee, Ms. Jetsetter

Website Travel Bags and Accessories, Chicago, IL Organizations: Allies for Community Business, NAWBO, Quad Communities Development Corporation, WBDC Services Utilized: Attend Workshops and Events, Find Financing, Increase Sales Tracey McGhee spent over 20 years in corporate America traveling to almost 30 countries. While traveling, her necklaces were constantly getting tangled in her luggage. Tracey...

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Carl Williams, Royal Men Solutions

Website Custom Commercial and Residential Furniture, Chicago, IL Organizations: Defy Ventures Services Utilized: Develop Ideas – Create Business Plan, Increase Sales – Join Accelerator, Capture Wealth – Update Pitch Deck Carl Williams grew up around woodworking -- his grandfather and father were both carpenters. As a child, Carl followed them around the house and...

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